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Chris M., M.S.W. Social Work

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Hemophilia is a disease that only men get. To explain why

Resolved Question:

Hemophilia is a disease that only men get. To explain why women do not get the disease, we review a bit of genetics.

Women have two X chromosomes. Men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome.

Hemophilia is due to a rare and recessive defect (allele) in the X chromosome.

A female fetus both of whose X chromosomes have the allele dies in the womb.

A girl, one of whose X chromosomes has the allele, does not get the disease because hemophilia is "recessive"; this girl is called a "carrier."

A boy whose X chromosome has the hemophiliac allele (defect) gets the disease.

Each fetus (unborn child) inherits one chromosome from each parent. Each fetus is equally likely to inherit each of its father's chromosomes and is equally likely to inherit each of the mother's chromosomes.

Thus, a son inherits his father's Y chromosome and one of his mother's X chromosomes. Similarly, a daughter inherits her father's X chromosome and one of her mother's X chromosomes.

Claire's father is not a hemophiliac, but Claire's brother is. Thus, her brother inherited a defective X chromosome from their mother. Claire's mother has one defective X chromosome.

(a) What is the probability that Claire is a carrier? Is the probability objective or subjective?

(b) Claire gives birth to her first child, a boy, Adam, who is not a hemophiliac. What is the probability that Claire is a carrier?

(c) Claire gives birth to her second child, a boy, Brent, and he too is not a hemophiliac. What now is the probability that Claire is a carrier?

(d) Claire gives birth to her third child, another boy, Drew, and he too is not a hemophiliac. What now is the probablity that Claire is a carrier?

Claire's father is not a hemophiliac, but Claire's brother is. Thus, her brother inherited a defective X chromosome from their mother. Claire's mother has one defective X chromosome. (a) What is the probability that Claire is a carrier? Is the probability objective or subjective?

Father XY Mother xX

Father

X Y

Mother X XX XY

x Xx xY

Where X is the normal X chromosome and x is the hemophilia form.

XX is a normal girl and Xx is a girl with affected treat. Claire is 50% likely to have the trait as the two possible combinations for a girl are XX and Xx, one 50% with trait, 50% normal

It is objective, not subjective.

(b) Claire gives birth to her first child, a boy, Adam, who is not a hemophiliac. What is the probability that Claire is a carrier?

must step away from comupter right now - but will be back to answer the rest

(c) Claire gives birth to her second child, a boy, Brent, and he too is not a hemophiliac. What now is the probability that Claire is a carrier? (d) Claire gives birth to her third child, another boy, Drew, and he too is not a hemophiliac. What now is the probablity that Claire is a carrier? Please provide step by step detailed solutions.

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